Why I would go back to life before Covid

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The class of 2021 Lip Sync group in February 2020, shortly before the COVID shutdown.

Megan Harper, Features Editor

It’s no secret that the last year has been hard for everyone.
A global pandemic was the last thing anyone expected to happen, and it’s revealed the strengths and shortcomings of our society in a very short amount of time. To put it simply, we learned the hard way that life as we know it can change completely at a moment’s notice.
Growing up, I had always had expectations for my junior and senior years of high school. The last four years have been built on the premise that in the end, I would get to go to prom, visit my old schools one last time, and walk across the stage at graduation while my family members and the rest of my class observed. While I might still get to do some of those things, it will never be the same. Life will never be the same.
I’ve learned a lot from quarantine. I think, for a little while, it brought out the best in people. It showed the impact a community can have when they come together for a common purpose. Even in the darkness and death, the pandemic caused, there was light in the world.
Over time, though, that light faded. Gone are the days of birthday drive-thru parades and grandmas making masks with their sewing machines. The unity that quarantine brought was only a temporary fix for the deep divisions our country and our world continue to face.
Given the opportunity, I would go back to March 12, 2020, and erase the last year from my life. I didn’t know it at the time, but life really was better before the pandemic. I would give anything now for my biggest worry to be the SAT coming up.
That being said, I wonder what I would’ve done differently if I had known what was about to happen. I feel that I would’ve appreciated each moment more.
Since the beginning, the big goal in all of this was going back to normal. The problem with that is, as time goes on, we’ve forgotten what normal is. Life socially distanced, at a limited capacity, and wearing a mask really isn’t normal at all.
I think at this point we’ve all sort of given up. Instead of coming up with an educated, scientific solution, we’ve resorted to just trying to do things the way they were before and hoping nobody gets sick or dies.
We shouldn’t strive for normal because we don’t know what that is. There needs to be a new normal, a world in which we don’t take the little things for granted, where we stand a little further apart than we did before. We shouldn’t be trying to go back to life before COVID because it’s not going to be that way for a long time, if ever again.
I wish we could go back. I wish I could say that life has changed for the better, but I just don’t feel that way. This pandemic has taken our already divided world and pushed us further apart, literally and figuratively. We’ve seen the impact of the debate on science versus personal beliefs up close. At this point, we can only try to find some solace in the destruction this virus has caused. Since time travel doesn’t exist, all that’s left is to hope tomorrow is a step ahead of today.
Better days are on the horizon. Eventually, as with anything else, the bad times come to an end. It might not seem that way now, but someday we will walk mask-free and without fear in public for the first time in a long time. It’s already happening in other parts of the world. It’s going to take time and effort for us to get there, but it will happen. Personally, I can’t wait.